Sombody tried DSL on Psion netBook?
Forum: Other Help Topics
Topic: Sombody tried DSL on Psion netBook?
started by: Monkey 9
Posted by Monkey 9 on July 08 2008,19:32I am gathering info about Linux on Psion.
Debian sarge install images are available..
As i allready tried both: DSL and Sarge on old notebooks, i prefer DSL because of the hw-detection, and the smooth look..
Beside that it is smaller and more complete.
This particular Psion, is a 7 series, converted to a netBook, with max Ram.(named 64MB, but realy about 50, when an Epoc ROM-Drive is used..)
(I do not know if that part could be used to store other vital info, to boot more quick with DSL?)
As i want to use the wifi, using the pcmcia-drive for swap space is not an option.
These days CF-Disks are very large, so if i use a big swap-space it will not be a real trouble, considering the 100.000 overwrite time.
My question: Will it boot as is: 4.4.2 ?
Or do i need to make special adjustments?
tia, for a useble Reply.. ;)
Posted by chaostic on July 08 2008,20:39DSL is built for x86 processors. The Psion, as far as I could tell, is based on Intel's XScale processor, which is an ARM cpu.
So, off the bat, no.
Debian Sarge does have packages built for ARM. An enterprising hacker could rebuild dsl for arm, if they had the time and want to put in the effort.
Posted by Monkey 9 on July 09 2008,08:07I was prepaired for such an answer...., but do not like it anyway;)
So that would come down on using an ARM based kernel, and remaster DSL?
As compact as it is, DSL would be a perfect match for the Psion....
I am not in a hurry, and just bought another netBook, secondhand offcourse....i am going to look into it, with some spare time, every now and than...
thnx for the reply ;)
Posted by chaostic on July 09 2008,08:15I'm afraid that (afaik) any compiled executable would need to be recompiled for ARM, not just the kernel. Drivers specific for the Psion would need to be found and compiled. The current boot method (minirt) might not be compatible. The only thing in dsl that wouldn't need changing is the idea and maybe the filesystem. Even some of the scripts would need changing, depending on what version of a program you can compile for arm (if the program can be compiled for arm that is).
Of course, this is all conjecture, based on the efforts I seen done for porting DSL to the xbox.
Posted by curaga on July 09 2008,09:12Xbox is a celeron though, so it has been very much easier.
Posted by Monkey 9 on July 09 2008,14:38
That can be done on the psion, if make works...
I thought maybe make use of the work already done: there is an initrd.gz for 7 series and netBook, there is a kernel for 32MB and 64...
There even is an os.img, that boots from CF-Disk... all debian...
Posted by chaostic on July 09 2008,14:40Well, you could cross-compile on a bigger/better desktop, instead of compiling all on the psion. As far as any existing files, that's all you. :P Good luck.
Posted by Monkey 9 on July 09 2008,14:44
So that has been done? I did not know that, good job!
Posted by Monkey 9 on July 09 2008,14:53
The existing files could be used to start with.
initrd and kernel are nessesary, the root file system could be used from DSL, recompiled no?
Posted by Monkey 9 on July 10 2008,17:38After some hours of investigation, i can confirm the efforts already made to boot linux on several psion machines.
The most significant achievements were made in between may 2003 and Dec 2006. Now a debian os can be installed and updated. But it cannot be switched off, the knoppix way, like DSL, and it is way bigger (too big, if you ask me..) There are 2 version of a root system: SargeBook_v5.tgz, a 95 MB file, 234 MB when unpacked, and a lite version, but still much too big.
< https://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=8846 >
is where all the files are,
Dillo is there, Fluxbox, Minimo and Firefox, even a qt-embedded version.
and a howto is found here:
< http://linux-7110.sourceforge.net/howtos/netbook_new/index.htm >
OpenPsion is now a fully functional, basic linux system.
All known systems are based on Debian Linux or ipk systems (Sharp zaurus, Compaq ipaq - see e.g., handhelds.org, or myzaurus.com ) since these systems have the best support for the ARM cpus. New debian arm packages (*_arm.deb, or a slimmer set of packages, *_arm.ipkg) can be downloaded and installed directly using "dpkg -i *_arm.deb", similarly for ipkg.
Very impressive, indeed, but 'sarge' is just 'too large'... ;)
What would i have to change, in order to use the improvements from knoppix, (kill signal, automatic hardware configuration, i realy love the intelligent way knoppix and DSL are booted), and the minimal very functional DSL pkgs?
Posted by Monkey 9 on July 16 2008,18:39Today i started to partition the CF-Card, copied the OS.IMG to the vfat16 partition, and unpacked the sargebooktarball to an ext3 partition.
I also had a swappartition made: 128MB, on a 2GB disk.
The OS.Img booted up, networkcard fully functional, but x could not get started. I only could login to tty1: 'startx': bash: command unknown.
Maybe the ext3 fs was not yet supported, while saying it is, or it is something else.
The knoppix shutdown kill signal is used and works, only the button to shut off doesn't, so i have to take the card out, to be able to shut down the power.
I had hoped to see a graphical desktop, but helas, not yet...
Posted by curaga on July 16 2008,19:20Why do you want hardware autoconfiguration, when you're making your own remaster for a single computer, especially with hardware that doesn't really change?
Posted by Monkey 9 on July 17 2008,10:00
It is very cool, because it looks very intelligent software that way...but as you say: not nessesary in my specific case...
For now i would be happy to get the root system booting..
The image loads, the initrd works, the kernel and the modules are ok.
It seems that only primary partitions can be used, and that it not boots, because the /etc/fstab and the boot loader
point to /dev/hda2 by default...
So i can do two things: Get the default boot going, or create a new os.img, in which the bootloader points to where i want it to.
Posted by curaga on July 17 2008,10:37Of course you could distribute your finished pack to other Psions too, so there it might be nice
Posted by Monkey 9 on July 17 2008,11:45Yeah i guess it would....
But i first i have to get the rootsys booted up..
I get the same message every time:
Trying to free nonexisting resource <d958e000-d958e00f>
hda: TRANSCEND, CFA DISK drive
ide0 at 0x985e000-0xd958e007, 0x985e00e on irq 32
hda: attached ide-disk driver.
hda: 3915072 sectors (2005 MB) w/1KiB Cache, CHS=3884/16/63
hda: hda1 hda2 hda3
ide_cs: hda: Vcc = 5.0, Vpp = 0.0
cardmgr: executing: './ide start hda'
then i can only login to tty1 as root, no xserver...
Posted by Monkey 9 on July 17 2008,16:04I found out that the os.img was not complete..
It did not mount hda, and did not execute pivot_root.
After mounting by hand, there was a strange username/pw issue, that prevents X from starting:
X: /tmp/.X11-unix has suspicious ownership (not root:root), aborting.
I have to find out how to set a rootpw that sticks during the transfer to the rootsys on hda2.. ;)
Posted by Monkey 9 on Aug. 09 2008,13:36The login problem was due to the fact that root did not own all files.
chown -R root.root * cleared that.
So i was able to login, and saw a debian gui-windowmaker-desktop,
I am not able to login, without manualy mounting:
mount /dev/hda2 /mnt/disk
/sbin/pivot_root . old
exec /usr/sbin/chroot . /sbin/init <dev/console >dev/console
I spoke Brian Dushaw, who wrote all howto's, and assembled and uploaded 'the parts', who told me that he uses an EEE pc now...
with ubuntu on it.
I would like to get the job finished: A Linux-OS, that works 'out of the box', on all the psion 7/netBooks, and that is upgradeble...
Might take some time though... np..;)